Older adults get into the act online

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As May ends, we’re wrapping up Older Americans Month, with its theme “get into the act.” But it’s not too late for older Americans to get into the act online. If you’re an older adult who’s active online (or maybe you know one), here are some online safety tips to share. 

  • Beware of online scams. Don’t open attachments, click links or respond to email from senders you don’t know.
  • Use social networks more safely. Look for “settings” or “options” in services like Facebook to manage who can see your profile or photos.
  • Protect your personal information online. Before you enter financial information, make sure the website has “https” (the ‘s’ is for secure) or a picture of a padlock in the address bar.
  • Use strong passwords. That means at least ten characters with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for every account.

Are you comfortable with technology? Share your knowledge. Stop.Think.Connect. and OnguardOnline.gov give you tools to use in presentations. Or use Net Cetera to chat with your children or grandchildren about being online. 

Know someone who doesn’t want to bother with technology? Getting online can reduce isolation and increase independence – sharing photos, video conferencing with loved ones, reading, shopping, or watching favorite movies. Several non-profit organizations provide hands-on technology training for older adults, including AARP TEK and OASIS Connections

Share these tips and resources with someone you know. Get into the act online safely.

Comments

Don't listen to anyone who has your information and uses the telephone to contact you telling you all about your computer not working and they can fix it if you will turn it on and they are already in the program. I thought they were part of the computer company since they were in my program. They completely destroyed mine and now it's not working and wanted to charge me a large sum of money. Scam but good..

Don't listen to anyone who has your information and uses the telephone to contact you telling you all about your computer not working and they can fix it if you will turn it on and they are already in the program. I thought they were part of the computer company since they were in my program. They completely destroyed mine and now it's not working and wanted to charge me a large sum of money. Scam but good..

Thank you for the tips. We have been getting calls from Micro Soft wanting for us to open computer so the can fix it. They have been calling from all different phone numbers. I asked to be taken off list or I will be reporting the explaining 4 calls a day is irritating. The man on the phone said his answer was no he won't stop. There are different people l e calling.
If I just hang up they call back a few hours later. Any suggestions what to do. Frustration and carry. They want to make you feel violated. Is there anything what I can do?

You have information that is useful to add to a complaint.  Please go to ftc.gov/complaint and report what happened.

Those calls you're getting sound like the tech support scammers. Callers say they see viruses or other malware on your computer and try to trick you into giving them remote access to take over your computer. Don’t give control of your computer to someone who calls you out of the blue.

If you are getting calls from a few same numbers, you might want to ask your phone provider if it charges for a service that blocks phone numbers.

If you have caller ID and you can see the number they're calling from, you can stop answering the calls. If you answer the calls and talk to them, they will keep calling because they know the number leads to a person.

I resent that this articles target audience is "older". Do you all think we are all gullible, naive and stupid?! I am 63 (almost) and I resent that. I have my own accounting and tax practice and I am very aware of all the crap that goes on online and I can't believe I am an anomaly. There are stupid people out there at any age!

The FTC has information for people of all ages and interests. We have information about being safe online for educators students, parents, techies, kids, members of the military and small business owners at OnguardOnline.gov. You might find information to share on this page for financial educators, or go to identitytheft.gov for information to help victims of identity theft.

I have a police report and showed the officer my computer and phone call list and was given a case number. My bank is aware of fraud and I have a case number with them. I also reported it to the FFC and have a case number there. After all of this I am still getting calls from numbers but don't answer. I never have my computer on as it doesn't work now. I even called my phone carrier for help. They say they are getting a high volume of calls regarding this. I even get my own number calling me. I definitely know that call is not ME. I feel violated but don't know what else to do other than don't answer any calls period. I will change my phone number as well since I have already changed or cancelled all charge cards. This is criminals who need not only fined but arrested.

Sue don't let them get to you. Don't change your telephone number, screen your phone calls. Ask your friends to identify themselves on your answering machine and if you know who it is then answer the phone. If you stop using the computer, and change your phone number then they win. Don't let them win. Get a whistle and if it's them whistle really loud and long in the phone that should give them a nice headache. Just make sure it's not your friends. Learn more about your computer and how to protect it. There are lot's of places to go and learn about your computer. If your email is overloaded with junk get another email account and just give that to the people you really want to communicate with. I like when they call and start telling all this stuff to lead them on and then tell them stop calling you are nothing but a scammer and I won't deal with ugly people like you. I really makes them mad.Good Luck!G

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